The Miami Hurricanes saw several players taken in the recent MLB Draft. Slade Cecconi was drafted in the first competitive balance round by the Arizona Diamondbacks and signed a few days after the draft. Chris McMahon and Freddy Zamora followed him in the second round, having been drafted by the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers respectively. McMahon has already signed with the Rockies while reports have not confirmed Zamora’s signing as of yet.
In addition to the players taken in the draft the Hurricanes also had several players leave as undrafted free agents. Senior ace Brian Van Belle signed with the Boston Red Sox in the days after the draft as did Tyler Keysor who signed with the Cincinnati Reds.
As a result, next year the Hurricanes will have a lot of pitching to replace. The entire starting rotation departs for the professional ranks. Miami will likely have at least one freshman in the weekend rotation and another possibly starting in mid-week games.
The good news post-draft is the Hurricanes recruiting class should largely stay together. Only one Hurricanes signee, Samuel Infante, was drafted due to relatively small numbers of prep-players being selected in the shortened 2020 draft.
Miami will benefit from keeping their recruiting class together in a year where they badly need to add youth to the roster. Impact players like pitchers Alejandro Rosario and Victor Mederos could have a huge positive impact for the program next year, especially pitching wise, as Gino DiMare and staff look to replace a huge amount of talent.
Despite the positives of the short draft holding the Hurricanes’ recruiting class together Miami remains one of the programs that has lost the most to the draft. The Hurricanes were tied with the most players picked in the Top 60 in the draft and finished in the Top 5 of most players picked. Since missing the NCAA Tournament in 2017 the program had a sense of building towards 2020 with a talented roster that had gained tournament experience, only to have it be lost to the coronavirus pandemic.
Miami’s 2021 squad will have an experienced offense, which should return every regular starter from the shortened 2020 season, but the losses in the pitching staff will undoubtedly cause growing pains for next season’s team in February and March. Players like JP Gates, Alex McFarlane, and Jake Garland will be key to Miami’s success next season and will have to step into massive roles and, in the case of the latter two, do it with less than 20 games of college experience.
After the MLB Draft the Hurricanes are set up to be experienced but young, especially in the pitching staff. The ‘Canes should remain a Top 25 team and should get better as the season goes on, and could be poised for an April and May run at the ACC title after settling in through February and March.